Leonardo DiCaprio Will Adapt 'The Sandcastle Empire' & Continues To Use His Fame To Showcase Environmental Issues
From The Hunger Games to Divergent to The 5th Wave, YA apocalypse movies are having a moment — and now, an actor who is decidedly not a young adult is getting in on the action. As The Hollywood Reporter published on Monday, Leonardo DiCaprio is set to adapt YA novel The Sandcastle Empire , thus proving that even A-listers like DiCaprio want in on this youth-skewing industry trend. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kayla Olson's The Sandcastle Empire is set in 2049, a time when the world isn't doing so hot. Climate change, overpopulation, and coastal flooding have caused serious problems, and in the chaos, a radical group known as "The Wolfpack" has overthrown the government. Young girl Eden and her three friends must find a way to bring the Wolfpack down before it's too late. Cue serious drama.
While it is surprising that DiCaprio is taking on a YA novel, it's not at all surprising that this was the one he chose to adapt. DiCaprio is a well-known advocate for environmental issues, and even started The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation in order to work on causes that are important to him. According to The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation's website, the actor and philanthropist's organization is dedicated to "the long-term health and wellbeing of all Earth’s inhabitants." Specifically, the organization is interested in protecting biodiversity, conversing our wildlife and oceans, and preventing climate change. It's therefore no wonder that this was the project DiCaprio was attracted to: The Sandcastle Empire is a dramatized story about what could happen when these issues are left unchecked.
Even DiCaprio's latest film, The Revenant, can be read as a love letter to nature — something that the actor clearly strives to protect. In the film, DiCaprio's character is left for dead following a bear attack, and must fight for survival through tough, but visually gorgeous terrain. It's clear that our Earth is important to DiCaprio, and he's using his position in Hollywood to remind everyone of what's at stake, whether it be through his performances or the work he's producing.